December 11, 2010 | David F. Coppedge

Best Qualified Candidate Expelled Over Views on Evolution, Design

For daring to question evolution, an astronomer who was the best qualified candidate to become director of a new observatory lost out.  “No one denies that astronomer Martin Gaskell was the leading candidate for the founding director of a new observatory at the University of Kentucky in 2007 – until his writings on evolution came to light,” a report on Courier-Journal reported.  Martin Gaskell is suing the University, claiming that his views on evolution, religion and intelligent design cost him the position.
    “UK, in a legal brief, acknowledged that concerns over Gaskell’s views on evolution played a role in the decision to chose another candidate,” the article said.  The strategy seems now to paint him in a bad light: “But it argued that this was a valid scientific concern, and that there were other factors, including a poor review from a previous supervisor and UK faculty views that he was a poor listener.”
    Gaskell’s lawsuit, however, claims that “UK officials repeatedly referred to his religion in their discussions and e-mails” as the real reason.  One astronomy professor, for instance, “feared embarrassing headlines about Kentucky’s flagship university hiring a ‘creationist’ in a state already home to the controversial Creation Museum.”  Three biology professors and a geology professor also hammered that theme, that hiring Gaskell would be a “disaster” and an embarrassment to the university, even though Gaskell disagrees with the young-earth position of the Creation Museum.  Some of his views, which resemble those of old-earth astronomer Hugh Ross, are published on his personal webpage.
    Gaskell’s academic opponents worried about his denial of evolution, and his support for intelligent design.  “UK biologists said in their e-mails that evidence for evolution was so overwhelming that Gaskell had no scientific basis to raise questions about it.”  They also pointed to the Dover case to argue that intelligent design is not science, though that regional ruling did not apply to the state of Kentucky.  Since concern over his views on evolution and intelligent design appears to constitute the bulk of their objections over his hiring, their concerns about Gaskell’s social skills appears to be a distraction, a red herring expressed after the lawsuit was filed.  According to the article, “a federal judge says Gaskell has a right to a jury trial over his allegation that he lost the job because he is a Christian and ‘potentially evangelical.’”  The case is being represented by the American Center for Law and Justice.
    Gaskell’s academic page is posted on the University of Texas website.  He is also a classical composer in his spare time, when not doing astrophysics.

The pattern is the same everywhere.  If you have watched Ben Stein’s documentary Expelled, you’ve seen how the Darwin funDOmentalists (Darwin-Only) refuse to debate the evidence, but instead retreat to character assassination, association, glittering generalities, fear-mongering, and sidestepping and subversion to keep out anyone who dares to defy the Darwin Party Line.
    It’s going on in the case of the American Freedom Alliance right now, where the California Museum of Science broke a contract rather than allow two pro-I.D. groups access to the facilities, lest it tarnish their pure-Darwin image.  Evolution News broke the story about how internal emails showed that despite their public statements, the real issue was preventing intelligent design from getting any publicity by the museum.
    In this story, Gaskell lost a prestigious job even thought he was the best qualified, because of worry that he could be “potentially evangelical” – an unlawful prior restraint on free speech.  Would the opposite situation have concerned his colleagues, if a staunch atheist were to be judged “potentially evangelical” about his theological position?  (Of course not; such a candidate would probably be honored by academia and the media.)
    Even the “potential” exposure was enough to expel this man, without any evidence he had actually tried to influence anyone at the university or observatory about his views.  This can only mean one thing: the Darwin Party, whose hardcore stance on secular evolution represents a small fraction of American opinion, is running scared.  The DODOs cannot afford to give a platform to anyone who might potentially expose to the public the existence of alternative views other than 100% materialism.  They will destroy careers to keep ideological purity in their ranks.
    This tactic cannot work forever, because it is self-refuting; it violates academia’s own ostensible commitment to the Enlightenment ideals of reason and tolerance (and, ironically, it also fights Darwinian fitness itself – by imposing goal-directed behavior against whatever unguided “mutation” supposedly led to the accidental emergence of religion/creationism in early man’s rise from the apes, that was somehow preserved by natural selection; see 10/26/2008 and 05/27/2008).
    If Darwinists’ beliefs are so fragile that they worry exposure to alternative viewpoints is intolerable, then their beliefs are not worth believing.  And if they think that the public must be protected from such exposure, they disparage the intelligence of their fellow Homo sapiens.   No scientist should fear openness about the evidence.  Bring it on.

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